By the Numbers
Leaders in every clinical setting
Ranked 15th in the country by U.S. News & World Report and first in Connecticut, our physician assistant program is focused on building a strong scientific foundation as well as leadership, analytical and interpersonal skills through hands-on clinical experience. You'll learn to be a crucial extension of the physician in various practice settings, conduct diagnostic tests and perform routine procedures.
The 27-month program offers a comprehensive blend of courses that examine subjects such as biology, pharmacology and behavioral medicine. You’ll gain extensive practical experience collaborating with health care providers in hospitals, medical centers, nursing homes and extended-care facilities. During your first year you’ll be paired with a licensed health care provider one half day a week to begin applying what you’ve learned in the classroom in professional settings with real patients.
Our interprofessional approach presents opportunities to collaborate with students from other medical and health science disciplines where you’ll build essential teamwork and leadership skills. You’ll have access to the most sophisticated equipment and facilities, where you’ll learn to interpret diagnostic imaging, and perform procedures such as suturing, injections and wound treatment. There are also rewarding volunteer opportunities, such as the Urban Service Track program, which provides medical services to underserved populations throughout Connecticut.
Mission, Policies and Certifying Exam Scores
Mission, Vision, Core Values and Goals
Our vision is to create a physician assistant workforce that provides high-quality, affordable health care that is accessible to all people in all settings by fostering teamwork, critical-thinking skills, high ethical and professional standards, and respect for diverse populations.
Service Work Policy
Due to the labor and time intensive nature of the Physician Assistant program, students are strongly discouraged from working while enrolled in the program.
Physician assistant students must be able to meet the requirements and worker attributes of a physician assistant as defined by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration’s Occupational Information Network (O*NET) Handbook.
Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) Scores
The National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants is the only certifying organization for physician assistants in the United States.
Below is the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination Five-Year First-Time Taker Summary Report.
Class graduation year
Number of first-time takers
Program first-time taker pass rate
National first-time taker pass rate for the class graduation year
Five-year, first-time taker average pass rate for program: 99.2%
Five-year, national first-time taker average: 96%
Career development is paramount to a Quinnipiac education
We provide extensive resources to give you your best chance at career success. Our resources complement your classroom study and experiential work to create a unique combination that is sure to provide you with a competitive advantage.
7000+ Professional contacts and hundreds of job and internship opportunities are available to current students, recent graduates and experienced alumni through the Quinnipiac University Career Connections online job portal.
Alumni Spotlight: Delilah Dominguez, MHS ’20
Shining as a scholar and leader
Just days after Delilah Dominguez, MHS ’20, was selected as the national Student of the Year by the American Academy of Physician Assistants, she was lauded as the catalyst for a Quinnipiac webinar during the spring of 2020 about health care disparity
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, who took part in the webinar at the invitation of Dominguez, vowed to keep pushing for equal access to health care in America, including free COVID-19 testing. The senator addressed nearly 300 people during the event.
“I hope this discussion excites and inspires everyone to become more involved in advocacy,” said Dominguez, who graduated in May from Quinnipiac’s nationally ranked physician assistant program. “We all have more power than we think, especially when we exercise our rights as citizens.”
It was precisely this mindset that helped Dominguez earn national Student of the Year honors from the AAPA, a professional organization that represents nearly 140,000 members.
The award recognized Dominguez for her academic achievement, her professional development as a two-term member of the AAPA’s House of Delegates and her deep commitment to helping others in need.
“This award is humbling,” Dominguez said. “It represents the culmination of years of hard work and perseverance despite many hardships.”
In the wake of losing her mother and grandmother in 2011 — “my two dearest matriarchs,” as she calls them — Dominguez credits Quinnipiac’s physician assistant program for helping her develop the voice and leadership skills to address the AAPA’s House of Delegates.
“Now, I have a much better sense of what’s going on in the profession,” she said. “I spoke on the House floor about increasing diversity in the profession. To be heard on a national stage like that, I had a moment there thinking about my mom and grandmother. They would’ve told everyone about it. They would’ve been so proud.”
Faculty Spotlight: Terry O’Donnell, MHS '96
Leadership in practice
A member of the Quinnipiac Physician Assistant program’s inaugural class, Professor Terry O’Donnell, MHS '96, was among the first to prove that Quinnipiac produces not only capable clinicians, but leaders at the forefront of their profession. She has groomed numerous graduates to follow her example since joining the program’s faculty in 1999, and helped maintain a culture of leadership as program chair from 2014-17.
“Our emphasis on leadership is what sets the Quinnipiac PA program apart from other programs,” she said. “When students choose us, they know that it’s an expectation.”
O’Donnell sets that expectation early. PA students not only attend, but present posters at many national and state conferences, including the annual conference of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), the main governing body of the PA profession. She mentors class officers elected to the QU PA Student Society and supports PA students who have been selected to sit in the AAPA’s House of Delegates, as well as on the AAPA’s Student Academy governing board.
“Terry is deeply devoted to her students and their learning, and holds them to our program’s high expectations,” said Professor Dennis Brown, current chair of physician assistant studies and program director. “She is a role model for all PA students and professionals.”
O’Donnell is a leader outside of Quinnipiac as well, serving 23 years on the Connecticut Academy of Physician Assistants Board of Directors and as treasurer for the Connecticut Physician Assistant Foundation. She also continues to practice, specializing in asthma, allergy and immunology at Allergy Associates of Hartford. Her experience and position enable her to bring a “big-picture perspective” on her profession’s current trends and issues to the classroom.
“I make every topic as relevant as possible to what my students’ future practice will be,” O’Donnell said.
Here, you’ll learn by doing
We deliver a set of market-tested learning outcomes specifically focused on preparing our graduates for career success. Practice and theory aren’t just integrated. They’re integral to how we do things differently.
Faculty dedicated to student success
Quinnipiac’s School of Health Sciences professors are committed to the personal and professional success of every student. While passionate scholars and accomplished in their own fields, teaching is the number one priority. Small class sizes, accessible professors and a close-knit community create the kind of supporting, enriching environment that is rare. We are personally invested in seeking ways to help our students develop into strong, certified, leading professionals.
Curriculum and Requirements
MHS Physician Assistant Program of Study
|PY 501||Human Physiology||4|
|PY 503||Principles of Interviewing||3|
|PY 507||Principles of Electrocardiography||1|
|PY 508||Diagnostic Methods I||2|
|PY 515||Clinical Pathology||3|
|PY 519||Human Anatomy||3|
|PY 519L||Human Anatomy Lab||1|
|PY 505||Clinical Pharmacology I||2|
|PY 506||Principles of Internal Medicine||6|
|PY 514||Diagnostic Methods II||1|
|PY 518||Physical Diagnosis||3|
|PY 518L||Physical Diagnosis Lab||1|
|PY 520L||Clinical Decision Making||1|
|PY 572||Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases||3|
|PY 504||History, Roles and Responsibilities of the PA||1|
|PY 509||Principles of Obstetrics and Gynecology||3|
|PY 510||Principles of Pediatrics||3|
|PY 511||Principles of Surgery and Emergency Medicine||4|
|PY 512||Psychosocial Issues in Health Care||2|
|PY 513||Behavioral Medicine||3|
|PY 516||Clinical Pharmacology II||2|
|PY 526||Principles of Epidemiology||3|
|PY 548||Ethics in Health Care Delivery I||2|
|PY 650||Medical Writing Workshop/Journal Club||1|
|PY 611||Clinical Residency I||3|
|PY 612||Clinical Residency II||3|
|PY 613||Clinical Residency III||3|
|PY 614||Clinical Residency IV||3|
|PY 615||Clinical Residency V||3|
|PY 616||Clinical Residency VI||3|
|PY 617||Clinical Residency VII||3|
|PY 618||Clinical Residency VIII||3|
|PY 619||Clinical Residency IX||3|
|PY 608||Graduate Seminar||3|
|PY 676||Comprehensive Examination||2|
|PY 648||Ethics/Health Care Delivery II||1|
In addition to the intensive classroom study during the first year, students are introduced to the clinical application of their training by being paired with a graduate physician assistant or physician one half day a week. This is designed to facilitate application of the skills and knowledge acquired in the classroom setting to the care of the patient.
Requirements for Graduation
Upon successful completion of the 27-month Quinnipiac University Physician Assistant program, students are granted a Master of Health Science and a certificate of completion as a physician assistant. Students must meet all of the following requirements in 27 months:
- Satisfactory completion of the PA curriculum requirements (including academic, clinical, medical writing, clinical logging, professionalism and community service requirements).
- Satisfactory completion of the PA program core competencies and essential learning outcomes.
- Satisfactory completion of all PA course requirements.
- Satisfactory completion of the capstone comprehensive examination.
- A cumulative GPA of at least 3.0/4.0.
The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Quinnipiac University. Accreditation-Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards.
Accreditation remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards. The approximate date for the next validation review of the program by the ARC-PA will be April 2023. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.
Additional course details
Explore descriptions, schedule and instructor information using the Course Finder tool.
Awards and Recognition
Quinnipiac is recognized by VIQTORY as being the top Military Friendly school in America based on our investments in serving military and veteran students. We exceed their standards in academic policies, admissions and orientation process, our culture, financial aid assistance, graduate rates and retention.
The deadline for a completed application to CASPA is September 1. The PA program begins in late May.
The Quinnipiac University Physician Assistant program is committed to accepting a diverse group of qualified individuals from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. The program selects students who reflect varied social, economic, ethnic, educational and health care experience backgrounds. The program seeks students who possess intellectual capacity, personal maturity, communication and interpersonal skills.
Interested students must possess, at a minimum:
- a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States or a nationally recognized institution
- four semesters of courses in biology with labs (credits must be in mammalian or human biology), including one semester of microbiology (with lab) and two semesters of anatomy and physiology (with labs)
- three semesters of courses in chemistry with labs, including one semester of organic chemistry (with lab) or biochemistry
- one semester of pre-calculus, calculus or statistics
- all prerequisites must be completed at a regionally accredited institution in the United States or nationally recognized institution in Canada
- prerequisite labs must be completed through an on-campus course (not online)
- all academic requirements must be completed prior to December 31 of the year of application
- scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) if the applicant received a bachelor's degree from a non-English speaking country
- scores from Graduate Record Examination are not required
The most competitive applicants typically possess at a minimum:
- a cumulative GPA of 3.3 and science GPA of 3.3
- a minimum of 2,500 hours direct patient care experience in the U.S. health care system
The Physician Assistant program is a full-time program. There is no part-time status. The program does not accept: transfer credits, advanced placement in the program, applications for challenge examinations and/or credits for experiential learning. Admission to the program is highly competitive. Applications are reviewed relative to undergraduate, post-bachelor’s and graduate cumulative and science GPA, direct patient care experience, completion of narrative and letters of reference. Personal interviews, required for admission, are offered to the most qualified individuals.
Dual-Degree BS/MHS in Physician Assistant program
Quinnipiac offers the Dual-Degree BS/MHS in Physician Assistant (4 years +27 months) program. This entry-level program enables students to participate in a seamless plan to complete their undergraduate and graduate studies. Students who have successfully completed all requirements of the dual-degree program, as well as the admissions requirements listed above, will also be granted admission to the master of health science physician assistant program.
How to Apply
Quinnipiac's physician assistant program participates with the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA).
The application process does not require submission of scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
The deadline for a completed application to CASPA is September 1.
Questions and contact
If you're considering one of Quinnipiac's outstanding graduate programs, you're on your way to joining a graduate community committed to academic excellence and professional preparation at the highest level.
Please contact us with questions about the application process.
Phone: 203-582-8672 or 800-462-1944
Mail: Quinnipiac University
Office of Graduate Admissions, NH-GRD
275 Mount Carmel Avenue
Hamden, CT 06518-1940